As usual my friends over and Post Op and a Doc have posed a question that has me thinking this morning. As I started to respond I realized it was going to be long and decided it would be a good blog post to share with my readers.
This morning they posted the following quote from the movie “As Good As It Gets” (1997) on their Facebook page and asked what their fans thoughts were on the last line of the quote and how if it applied to their lives.
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Carol: “OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you—”
Melvin: “It’s not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that’s their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you’re that p***ed that so many others had it good.”
I think the use of envy here instead of jealousy is important to note as jealous is reflective of a persons feelings towards another person while envy is reflective of a person’s feelings towards another person’s situation, advantages or accomplishments.
It’s like the other day when I admitted I envy Joan Rivers for having a venue that I do not have, and was disgusted by the was she used it. I am not jealous of Joan Rivers personally, I envy her situation because it is something I dream of having.
I think as with many things whether or not envy is an unhealthy mindset depends largely on what sort of attitude envy is displayed with.
I envy Joan Rivers, I wish I had the venue she has, I wish I was a famous personal trainer with my own weight loss oriented television show, I wish that millions and millions of people cared what I had to say and that I could use those things to help others in their weight loss journeys and evoke positive changes in the world where the fight against obesity is concerned.
I believe that is a positive and healthy example of envy. But envy can be unhealthy. In fact, envy can lead to some of the most malevolent, baleful and malicious behavior ever exhibited; probably one of the very reasons it is considered one of the seven deadly sins.
As someone who as this example suggests, “had it bad,” I can honestly say that there were times that I envied the hell out of people in an unhealthy way. Times I hated women that were skinny and beautiful because I felt like I was overweight and ugly. Times I recanted people who had amazing relationships with their Family and huge supportive families that gather together for holidays and special occasions and where there isn’t drama and discord and lies. There were times I looked at people who were absolute douche bags and seemed to have nothing really positive to offer the world and think, what made that woman deserve a rich husband that a little dog in a purse and a new Maserati and a perfect body because she can afford plastic surgery every other month.
I often blamed my lack of opportunity on being fat. Being super morbidly obese was my excuse for everything. If someone skipped me over, if I didn’t get a job, if someone treated me poorly, it was always because I was morbidly obese. I always believed that if I was skinny more doors would open up for me. But once I was slender, because I definitely don’t identify as skinny, but once I was slender, I started to realize that all those dreams I didn’t reach, wasn’t because I was overweight, it was because I didn’t try. I wanted to be an actress but I never did anything to pursue it. I wanted to be on Television, but I was too ashamed of my size to even try. It wasn’t necessarily that my situation was being hindered by other people’s perceptions and visions of me, but my own. My own self loathing and self-consciousness kept me from ever really trying to succeed at anything.
When I was sixteen, the mother of my high school sweetheart, a grade school principal said to me, “You can hate the life that you were given or you can go build your own.” That’s sort of my view on envy now. ( It’s too bad we understand these lessons 20 years after we are taught them eh? ) If I look at someone’s situation and I envy in it an unhealthy way, I try to figure out what is missing in my life that is evoking those feelings and try to change it. I try to always have a goal that I am working on, something that I am trying to achieve.
I try not to resent the life I had and remember that every moment of pain and heartache has been part of my journey, part of what got me here today, and part of the experience that I apparently needed to find my inner strength, to hear my healthy voice and to be able to help motivate other people in their journeys.
There are still times that I find myself victim to that little green-eyed monster and there are times I experience envy and jealousy, but when I do, I try to remember that if I am focusing that much on someone else and their situation and it’s not because I’m trying to assist them in their weight loss journey, then I’ve lost sight of the goal and it’s time to SCAT … Stop. Collect myself. Access my situation and Take Charge of my emotions.
Speaking of Scatting… I think it’s time to get on with my day, the coffee cup is nearly empty and an outdoor run in a new city is high on my to-do list. I hope you all have a great day and…
Go get your Fitness on!